School board rec­og­nizes sup­port per­son­nel

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Each year, Charles County Pub­lic Schools (CCPS) hon­ors out­stand­ing sup­port ser­vices per­son­nel in the ar­eas of in­struc­tional as­sis­tant, build­ing ser­vice worker, sec­re­tary, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, main­te­nance, cen­tral of­fice sup­port and food ser­vice. Af­ter nom­i­na­tions are re­ceived and judged, a per­son is se­lected to rep­re­sent one of seven cat­e­gories.

This year, Juin Lai, me­dia in­struc­tional as­sis­tant at Henry E. Lackey was named the out­stand­ing in­struc­tional sup­port em­ployee; Veis­tella Mil­stead, as­sis­tant build­ing ser­vice worker and night man­ager at Mil­ton M. Somers Mid­dle School was named the out­stand­ing build­ing ser­vice em­ployee; sec­re­tary to the prin­ci­pal of C. Paul Barn­hart El­e­men­tary School Su­san Pond was named the out­stand­ing sec­re­tary; Trevor Gil­lum, a com­puter an­a­lyst, was named the out­stand­ing in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy em­ployee; car­pen­ter Ge­orge “Ted” Estevez was named the out­stand­ing main­te­nance em­ployee; stu­dent data ac­count­ing spe­cial­ist Ge­orge Simms was named the out­stand­ing cen­tral of­fice em­ployee; and Jill Sprouse, food ser­vice man­ager at T.C. Martin El­e­men­tary School was named the out­stand­ing food ser­vice em­ployee. Staff mem­bers will be rec­og­nized at the June 14 Board of Ed­u­ca­tion meet­ing.

In­struc­tional as­sis­tant

Lai, a me­dia as­sis­tant at Henry E. Lackey High School, came to Lackey in 2008 and takes ini­tia­tive on a va­ri­ety of tasks in­clud­ing brain­storm­ing ideas for stu­dent con­tests and cre­at­ing in­no­va­tive li­brary dis­plays.

“Ms. Lai is, with­out a doubt, one of the most pro­fes­sional and ded­i­cated em­ploy­ees I have had the honor of work­ing with dur­ing my 27-year ten­ure with Charles County Pub­lic Schools,” Kathy Per­riello, prin­ci­pal of Lackey, wrote in a nom­i­na­tion let­ter.

Build­ing ser­vice worker

Mil­stead started work­ing as a tem­po­rary build­ing ser­vice worker for CCPS in 2008. By the fol­low­ing year she landed at Mil­ton M. Somers Mid­dle School and was named as­sis­tant build­ing ser­vice man­ager at the school in 2012.

Mil­stead is de­scribed in nom­i­na­tion in­for­ma­tion as the “go to” per­son who is help­ful to her staff, whether veter­ans or new­com­ers. She is lauded for her or­ga­ni­za­tional skills and at­ten­tion to de­tail. “Ms. Mil­stead gives great at­ten­tion to de­tail be­cause in a build­ing this size and age, it is at­ten­tion to de­tail which gets the job done right and well each day,” wrote Somers Prin­ci­pal Car­rie Akins in a nom­i­na­tion let­ter.

Sec­re­tary

Pond started her ca­reer with CCPS in 2006 as a tem­po­rary in­struc­tional as­sis­tant at Matthew Hen­son Mid­dle School be­fore be­com­ing a Life Skills in­struc­tional as­sis­tant at Theodore G. Davis Mid­dle School. She was the sec­re­tary for the spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment at the Jesse L. Starkey Ad­min­is­tra­tion Build­ing and has been the sec­re­tary to the prin­ci­pal of C. Paul Barn­hart El­e­men­tary School since 2012.

“She works count­less hours go­ing above and be­yond the call of duty on a daily ba­sis,” wrote Barn­hart Prin­ci­pal Troy Barnes in a nom­i­na­tion let­ter. “I could not be ef­fec­tive in my role as prin­ci­pal with­out Su­san. Her lead­er­ship, work ethic, at­ti­tude, at­ten­tion to de­tail and ex­per­tise are su­pe­rior.”

In­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy

Hired as a com­puter in­tern in 2004, Gil­lum has risen through the ranks to com­puter anal­y­sist III, the most se­nior com­puter an­a­lyst po­si­tion. Cur­rently, he over­sees the Robert D. Stethem Ed­u­ca­tional Cen­ter, the Life­long Learn­ing Cen­ter, Gen­eral Small­wood Mid­dle School and In­dian Head El­e­men­tary School.

“He works hard to keep the tech­nol­ogy in all the build­ings he sup­ports func­tion­ing to en­able the staff to cre­ate learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and sup­port the mis­sion of our school sys­tem,” Lora Ben­nett, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy man­ager for CCPS, wrote in a nom­i­na­tion let­ter. “His sen­si­tiv­ity to other view­points helps pro­mote an at­mos­phere of mu­tual re­spect. Trevor pro­vides an ex­am­ple for many of the tech­ni­cians in our depart­ment with his open, thought­ful, kind meth­ods of sup­port­ing tech­nol­ogy in the school sys­tem.”

Main­te­nance

Estevez is a car­pen­ter with CCPS who can be counted on to get in­volved in any project re­gard­less of the scope, said Steve Vance, di­rec­tor of main­te­nance, in a nom­i­na­tion let­ter. “Mr. Estevez has com­pleted many projects that have im­proved our fa­cil­i­ties,” Vance wrote. “His dili­gence and at­ten­tion to de­tail truly make him a valu­able as­set to Charles County Pub­lic Schools.”

Cen­tral of­fice sup­port

Simms has been help­ing CCPS staff even while a stu­dent at La Plata High School. Simms, the pupil data ac­count­ing spe­cial­ist, was a stu­dent as­sis­tant in La Plata’s guid­ance sys­tem, be­fore he even­tu­ally landed at his cur­rent job. “When I started teach­ing at La Plata High School in 1981, Ge­orge Simms was one of the first stu­dents that I met,” Joan Withers, act­ing di­rec­tor of sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion, wrote in a nom­i­na­tion let­ter. “I quickly learned that teach­ers and coun­selors alike re­lied on Ge­orge’s phe­nom­e­nal mem­ory and his ac­cu­rate, de­tailed work.”

Food ser­vice

Start­ing as a food ser­vice worker in 2003 at T.C. Martin El­e­men­tary School, Sprouse was named food ser­vice man­ager at the school in 2008. Will­ing to meet with par­ents and fam­i­lies at open houses and meet-and-greets, Sprouse is al­ways avail­able to an­swer ques­tions about the school’s break­fast and lunch pro­grams, said Martin Prin­ci­pal Greg Miller in a nom­i­na­tion let­ter. “Jill is a peo­ple per­son; her in­fec­tious smile and laugh al­ways make stu­dents feel com­fort­able, even when they are down,” Miller wrote.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Charles County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion hon­ored out­stand­ing sup­port staff mem­bers at its June 14 meet­ing. Pic­tured are Jill Sprouse, food ser­vice man­ager at T.C. Martin El­e­men­tary School was named the out­stand­ing food ser­vice em­ployee, left; stu­dent data ac­count­ing spe­cial­ist Ge­orge Simms was named the out­stand­ing cen­tral of­fice em­ployee; car­pen­ter Ge­orge “Ted” Estevez was named the out­stand­ing main­te­nance em­ployee; sec­re­tary to the prin­ci­pal of C. Paul Barn­hart El­e­men­tary School; Su­san Pond was named the out­stand­ing sec­re­tary; Juin Lai, me­dia in­struc­tional as­sis­tant at Henry E. Lackey was named the out­stand­ing in­struc­tional sup­port em­ployee; Veis­tella Mil­stead, as­sis­tant build­ing ser­vice worker and night man­ager at Mil­ton M. Somers Mid­dle School was named the out­stand­ing build­ing ser­vice em­ployee; and Trevor Gil­lum, a com­puter an­a­lyst, was named the out­stand­ing in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy em­ployee.

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